Education in Himachal Pradesh – An Introduction
Himachal – The abode of snow, which came into being on 25th January 1971, is the
18th state of the Republic of India. Himachal Pradesh is a tourist’s delight and
attracts people from all parts of the globe. It is also a hub for adventure activities
like Paragliding, rafting, boating, trekking, horse riding, skiing, fishing etc.
As per 2011 census the population of Himachal Pradesh was 6.86 million, of which
the male population is 3.47 million and female population is 3.38 million. The literacy
rate of Himachal Pradesh is 83.78%, of which the male literacy is 90.93% and female
literacy is 76.6%. The sex ratio of Himachal Pradesh is 974 females per 1000 males,
which is much above the national average of 940.
School Education in Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh has one of the best literacy rates nationally and this is the contribution
of its education system. It is the first state where every child has to undergo
elementary education. The Department of Education manages 10,613 primary schools,
2,278 upper primary schools, 841 secondary schools and 1,321 higher secondary schools.
As per available statistics the enrolment of boys and girls at the elementary school
level are nearly the same. The drop out ratio at the school level is nearly negligible
except for the secondary levels. The Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education
which has 3318 schools under it, prescribes syllabi, course of instruction, textbooks
for schools. It also conducts board exams for class 8, 10, 10+1 and 10+2. There
are schools as well which are affiliated to either the I.C.S.E or the C.B.S.E. patterns.
Himachal Pradesh has numerous schools of repute in the private sector which impart
school education to desirous candidates. Himachal Pradesh is one among the three
states of India with the highest literacy rates, due to the state government’s compulsory
elementary education policy.
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Higher Education in Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh has one central university, four state universities and sixteen
private universities, besides 64 general colleges, 2 medical colleges, 1, homeopathic
medical college, 10 engineering colleges, pharmacy, dental, nursing, management
and a host of other colleges and research institutions. Himachal Pradesh government
is also very keen to develop the state into an education hub. Though it has been
a late starter in establishing engineering institutes as compared to other states
but is making great progress in the direction. People of Himachal Pradesh nurture
the desire to make this state a Switzerland as both share the same topography, however
Himachal Pradesh lacks Swiss industrial acumen and resources to match the same.
The technical institutions help in fulfilling the requirement of skilled manpower
of the industries which have of late have rapidly sprung up in the various parts
of the state due to its liberal policies and tax benefits. Many renowned brand names
have their manufacturing plants located in Himachal Pradesh. Baddi is slowly acquiring
the status of the pharmaceutical manufacturing hub of the nation. At the current
rate of industrialization students with the requisite skill set will find due employment
in the state itself. The future of higher education in Himachal Pradesh is definitely
Education in Himachal Pradesh – Future
The future of education in Himachal Pradesh is promising as reflected from the literacy
rates and the resolve of the state government. The rapid industrialization is also
a catalyst in improving the same. Industrial houses and private sector players are
also investing in setting up educational institutions in the state which will definitely
benefit the citizens of the state.